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Web Dev·The Web

A Target on Your Blog

May 9th, 2006  · stk

How about this: Software that targets b2evolution blogs and ONLY b2evolution blogs! We're talking comment SPAM here, folks. Ever wonder why you spend so much time deleting comments from your blog? Find out more ...

b2evolution Comment Spam Software

b2eblogger

Did you know that you can buy software specifically for spamming b2evolution blogs? How about that "howdy-do" with your morning coffee? Just think of all those SPAM messages you spend time deleting from your blog. Perhaps many are coming from this software?

It's enough to make steam come out of your ears.

Of course, if the programming is crafted as well as the banner ad (notice the spelling error?), then b2evolution owners don't have too much to worry about.

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Updated: 20-Jun-2011
Web View Count: 20428 viewsLast Web Update: 20-Jun-2011

Canada & USA Free Trade

April 7th, 2006  · stk

Consumer Thoughts After Buying a Casio EX-Z850 Digital Camera

The population of the United States is roughly ten times that of Canada. It's no surprise then, that the U.S. has a much more efficient consumer marketplace than Canada. I recently discovered just how much more efficient, after purchasing a Casio EX-Z850 digital camera.

Firstly, I should state that I have no great patriotic allegiance when it comes to making consumer purchases. "Made in the U.S.A.", Canada, China, Taiwan or Mexico, I don't really care. All things being equal, I will buy local, to support the local economy, but in truth, I'm after the best quality/price ratio I can find, with a leaning toward one end of the spectrum or the other, depending on the product. I mean no disrespect to either the U.S. or Canada, as I think both are great. Rather, my experience reflects a growing dissatisfaction over the disparity in pricing, availability, shipping costs, regulations and red tape associated with purchasing products to obtain the best deal.

The EX-Z850 is very new to the marketplace. It was debuted at the PMA Annual Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, Florida, on February 26th (press release). I was happy to get my hands on one at a price well below the MSRP of $399.99(USD), but the convolutions I had to go through, in order to accomplish this, underscores the marketplace differences between Canada and the U.S. This is something that NAFTA is supposed to help fix, but it doesn't really seem to be working too well.

Read on to learn about my purchase choices in Canada, versus the United States and the creative methods employed to obtain the better deal.

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Updated: 3-Jun-2006
Web View Count: 133300 viewsLast Web Update: 3-Jun-2006

Where I've Been

April 4th, 2006  · stk

Putting the "Good" into Good Boating

If there has been a lack of journaling on our randsco site, it's because I've been working with my UK mate on a number of projects, through our joint website AstonishMe!. You can read more about the various projects we've completed, on our portfolio page.

While we've been waiting for the beta version of b2evolution to be released (since November), we've been active on a number of fronts. We're investigating blogging SPAM (comment and trackback SPAM, primarily), are collecting data and making some serious inroads into methods to not only thwart it, but flip the tables, taking an offensive position, rather than a defensive one. (Of course, this is all super-secret work and I can't reveal anything, otherwise I'd have to shoot you and that's too offensive, even for us. :| )

An associate of ours, Danny, has completed a page design for Software & Tools (an Austrailian, high-tech blogging site). He put a lot of effort into it and we think it turned out great.

Lately, our focus has been on helping Hilltop Marine and Walker Marine, come up with a completely new and highly integrated website. The concept is to blend two commercial boating businesses (one in Cincinatti, on the Ohio River and the other, in Kentucky, on Lake Cumberland), integrating several informational (magazine-style) blogs, into a single web presence. The "portal site", called 'Good Boating', will also include a free blogg sign-up (boaters can create and write their own boating stories), a forum, picture gallery and more. By fostering an active, online community of avid boaters, we hope to develop strong customer ties to the commercial operations and a 'must-see' regional boating reference site.

As you might imagine, the project is involved and multi-faceted. It involves much custom programming, web-design and creativity ... just the kind of task that AstonishMe! wants. The project is moving along and we recently completed a mock up of our vision for the "Good Boating" portal site. The client was thrilled with our work and we'll be stepping forward with the 2nd of five phases.

As you can see, entries may not be coming at a rapid clip here at randsco, but it's not because we've been sitting on our duff, watching icicles grow. ;)

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Updated: 5-Apr-2006
Web View Count: 8167 viewsLast Web Update: 5-Apr-2006

John West Salmon Bear Fight

February 24th, 2006  · stk

I went to find an enjoyable TV ad from the year 2000, but had a difficult time finding it on the web. The collective attention span for humans is short and most of the movie links were broken. So, in an effort to preserve a tiny piece of humorous history, I've posted it here, along with a rare "alternative ending". Enjoy.

John West Salmon Bear Commercial

"Oh Look, an Eagle!"

johnwest

It was some time ago that I first saw this ad, via some email link a friend sent. I'm not sure what made me think about it the other day, but I went on a hunt for it. It's still out there, but many of the links have dried up and now there are sites that want you to pay money to see the thing. (Sorry, there isn't much added value to see something that used to be aired for free :-/)

I'm not much of a museum curator and maybe it was more the challenge, than the preservation, but regardless ... I went on a hunt to find the original video, convert it to Flash and preserve it for your viewing pleasure (and the inadvertent, sustained promotion of John West Salmon). While hunting down the videos, I learned a lot! The spot won several awards, there was an alternate ending (shown in the full article) and to whom credit goes to for this humorous advertisement.

To learn more about the John West Bear Fight ad, read on ...

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Updated: 23-Oct-2008
Web View Count: 52704 viewsLast Web Update: 23-Oct-2008

DFW: First Major U.S. BPL Rollout

February 19th, 2006  · stk

In the United States anyway, it's happening sooner, rather than later. Two million customers in the Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex will soon have access to "Broadband over Power Line". This technology will provide speeds up to 3 megabits per second through a home's existing electrical sockets, at prices that are anticipated to be less than that of cable or ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Lines). This will make every electrical socket both a source of power and a high-speed internet connection.

As a follow-up to an October story, it is interesting to note that the first major U.S. rollout of BPL will be in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, starting later in 2006.

The $10 million dollar project was jointly announced by TXU and Current Communications Group in December. More information can be found in the original article.

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Updated: 25-Feb-2006
Web View Count: 4305 viewsLast Web Update: 25-Feb-2006